Price Guides, July 2005: Storageby Anand Lal Shimpi & Manveer Wasson on July 10, 2005 7:27 PM EST
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PATA's grip on the cost per GB is slowly slipping; drives like the Maxtor 200GB DiamondMax 10 [RTPE: 6B200M0] are bringing the price of a good SATA drive down to $0.50 per GB; although you'll have to spend a tad more for NCQ still. Check out how the 6B200M0 has preformed over the last few months:
Maxtor SATA 200GB 7200RPM 8MB DiamondMax 10
As SATA drives get bigger, they also produce better cost per GB ratios. Western Digital's 250GB Caviar SE [RTPE: WD2500JD] manages to come in at $0.44 per GB! The new Western Digital 320GB Caviar SE [RTPE: WD3200JD] ends up being about $0.48 without mail in rebates, although anyone who visits our Hot Deals Forum should know you can find more hard drive mail in rebates than you can shake a stick at.
SATA drives start to break into those magic low cost per GB ratios around the $200 mark. If you're interested in seeing the exact cost per GB, check RTPE here. Another drive that has lead the drop in cost per GB on our SATA drives is the Seagate SATA 250GB 7200.8 [RTPE: ST3250823AS] The 7200.8 isn't the cheapest 250GB drive right now, but if you click on the RTPE link and scroll down, you'll see the cost per GB is still very competitive. We have been watching this drive very closely, and again this drive takes our pick as the SATA II all around drive.
Seagate SATA 250GB 7200RPM 8MB Barracuda 7200.8
The cost of Western Digital Raptors [RTPE: Raptor] is still the same as they were a year ago. However for the first time we are starting to see some decent rebates show up, including a $20 mail in rebate for the 74GB Raptor. Check RTPE for a detailed list of rebates on each of the drives. We have heard some talk about a SATA IO "Raptor" with native NCQ instead of TCQ on the existing Raptors. Western Digital has not been a large opponent of NCQ, and since NCQ implementation seems very subjective per manufacturer, we are very anxious to see if the final product will live up to WD's reputation. Expect more details by the time we unleash our next price guide!